Director: Erich von Stroheim
This powerful and complex picture of the collapsing Viennese artistocracy is set against the touching story of a rake (von Stroheim), the poor girl he loves (Fay Wray), and the heiress he is forced to marry (Zasu Pitts). The extravagant brothel scene in which the marriage is arranged by the two drunken, lecherous fathers is the most famous sequence in the film, but the director also succeeds in rendering a contrasting tenderness and pathos.
The film was originally released in 1928 in a version not approved by the director. In 1954 the Cinematheque Francaise completed the definitive editing of the film with von Stroheim, with the original music score being transferred from discs onto the film.